Patrick Willis Delivers Inspirational Speech at Ole Miss Commencement

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Who doesn’t love a good inspirational message from an inspiring person? The Ole Miss graduating class of 2020 received just that from former NFL linebacker Patrick Willis at Saturday’s commencement ceremony.

An alum of the University of Mississippi himself, Willis returned to the historic Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Saturday to deliver an amazing message to some 3,000 graduates in attendance.

The full speech can really be summed up by the following quote:

Beautiful, absolutely beautiful!

Patrick Willis played his college ball at Ole Miss from 2004-06. He graduated with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and would go on to be drafted No. 11 overall by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2007 NFL Draft.

By the time he retired at age 30 in 2015, Willis had earned seven Pro Bowl nods and had been named a first-team All-Pro member five times. A class act both on and off the field, Willis is widely expected to eventually be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In other words, he himself is a living inspiration for both young athletes and professionals alike.

Pursuing dreams, even those with long odds, is nothing new for Patrick Willis. In an interview earlier this year, he recounted the story of growing up as a child in rural Tennessee. In a first grade class on the subject, Willis adamantly told his teacher that he would defy the statistical odds and be among the 1% of all athletes to make it at the professional level.


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Mission accomplished.

He was pretty darn good as a Rebel too, a notion that was reflected in the highlight shared by the Ole Miss Twitter account before the commencement ceremony.

A few more inspirational quotes from Patrick Willis’ commencement speech can be found below for those interested in gleaning a little extra motivation.

“Purpose powers the mind, vision drives the body and passion fuels the soul.”

“On your way to greatness, there will be happy days and sad days, but remember all the things that you will go through will shape you and mold you for the aim you have in mind.”

“Class of 2020, you are already on your way to fulfilling something you began to see a long time ago. So envision what is that for you, and get it done.”


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